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Manatee County deputy rescues orphaned baby bobcat

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An eight-week-old bobcat kitten was rescued by Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy April Culbreath last weekend, and since then wildlife officials have been trying to find the kitten's mother to reunite them reported

The adorable kitten was found in Manatee County, Fla. at a Chevron Station along State Route 70.

In an effort to find the mother, Justin Matthews of Matthews Wildlife Reserve has been carefully combing the nearby forest area looking for the den. If he finds it, Matthews will reunite the kitten with his mother, however will wait and observe the situation to make sure the mother accepts her kitten back into the litter.

Bobcats generally have litters ranging from one to six kittens early in the spring.

In the meantime, the kitten has been examined by a veterinarian and is doing well. He is drinking a special milk formula and has been fed a mouse. The cats mainly hunt rabbits and rodents, although have been known to stalk and attack deer.

In the mid 1900s, the bobcat population greatly decreased as fur traders killed the animals for their pelts. As international laws now protect many wild animals banning the wild fur trade, the bobcat population has rebounded. Still the animals are hunted and trapped, and have lost much of their natural habitat because of urban development.

If Matthews is unable to find the kitten's den, the little one will be transferred to the Wildlife Center of Venice where he will be cared for and eventually released back into the wild.

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